How many times have you heard, “There is no such thing as a free lunch”? Well we want to share with you two resources from the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) designed to provide “hands-on” information to assist business owners develop wage, benefit, safety and health, and nondiscrimination policies for their organization.
FirstStep Overview Advisor
The FirstStep Overview Advisor is designed to assist business owners and employers better understand DOL’s major laws. The employer begins with the FirstStep Overview Advisor. The Advisor walks the user through a series of questions to determine the major DOL administered laws applicable to their organization.
To learn more about the FirstStep Overview Advisor .
Employment Law Guide
The Employment Law Guide is designed to assist business owners and employers who have an solid understanding of the major laws applicable to their organization. The guide outlines in detail the major statutes and regulations administered by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) affecting businesses and workers.
The guide is divided into chapters describing the requirements of each major statute enforced by the Department of Labor. There are seven chapters in the guide. The first five chapters are by the type of labor standard and the last two chapters discuss laws which apply exclusively to employers holding Federal contracts.
Table of Contents
- Wages and Hours Worked
- Safety and Health Standards
- Health Benefits, Retirement Standards, and Workers’ Compensation
- Other Workplace Standards
- Work Authorization for Non-U.S. Citizens
- Federal Contracts: Working Conditions
- Federal Contracts: Equal Opportunity in Employment
Each chapter outlines:
- Employers and employees covered by the statute
- The basic provisions and requirements
- Employee rights
- Recordkeeping, reporting, notice and poster requirements
- Penalties or sanctions for non-compliance
- Relation of the statute to state, local, and other federal laws
- Addition information and compliance assistance from the DOL
The Employment Law Guide is provided as a public resource. It should not be considered a replacement for the U.S. Code, Federal Register, or Code of Federal Regulations. As with all publications, the continual statutory and regulatory changes will require the information in the guide to be updated regularly. To keep up to date on the changes, it is suggested business owners and employers subscribe to the electronic mailing list at www.dol.gov/compliance/CA_subscribe.htm.
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Employers need to be aware with today’s technology of “smart phones” and “tablets” employees have an additional means to recording their work hours. The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has launched an electronic timesheet application designed to help employees keep a record of their time independently from the system their employer may be using. In cases where an employer has failed to keep accurate employment records, employees may not receive the correct amount of wages for the total number of hours worked. This DOL application is designed to offer support for employees in circumstances where their employer may not have maintained accurate employment records. The hours an employee records with this application can be used to support a wage-hour claim or assist in a DOL investigation of an employer.
The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLS A) requires employers to keep accurate records of the hours worked by employees. If a DOL investigation reveals an employer has failed to keep accurate records, the DOL is likely to determine the hours logged by an employee, using the DOL’s smart phone or tablet application are accurate. This could be very costly for an employer if they cannot offer a solid counter argument for the total hours reported as being worked by the employee.
The role of human resource and payroll professionals has evolved significantly in recent years. Both HR and payroll professionals are tasked to do more and the skills required have expanded in conjunction with their growing scope of responsibilities.
The Department of Homeland Security and Social Security Administration work together to confirm employment eligibility. The I-9 Form, Employment Eligibility Verification form, must be completed for every new employee, regardless of their national origin or whether or not the employee is a U.S. citizen, under the Immigration Reform and Control Act. If an employer fails to verify the identity and employment authorization of a new employee, the employer has violated federal immigration law.
This responsibility generally lies with human resources or the payroll department. It has become increasingly challenging due to a rise in people using fraudulent information to secure employment. Even though employers have the information on the I-9; they have no means to verify the employee provided documents are genuine.
E-Verify is an Internet-based system that compares information from an employee’s Form I-9, to data from U.S Department of Homeland Security and Social Security Administration records to confirm employment eligibility. E-Verify strengthens the Form I-9 employment eligibility verification process. The results to an inquiry are within minutes. If the information matches, then the employee is eligible to work in the United States. Should there be a mismatch, E-Verify will alert the employer but the employee will be allowed to work while trying to resolve the issue.